Although some people seem to be always on the lookout for a fight, most people would really prefer to avoid a physical confrontation whenever possible. If you are one of the many who would rather just walk away than raise your fists but who can’t seem to avoid fights in certain situations, consider following these tips so that you can help prevent things from escalating into something physical. Although you can’t always keep yourself out of sticky situations, following these tips can help you avoid getting in a physical fight in the event that things get out of hand.
Avoid Situations Where Things Might Get Ugly
One of the best ways to prevent yourself from getting into a fight is to watch out for potentially confrontational situations in the first place. For instance, it really isn’t a good idea to go to a bar that is known for being rough and having a lot of bar fights if you can avoid it. Try to stay in well-lit areas when you can, and try to patronize bars, clubs and other businesses that are known for being safe and secure and having plenty of security guards on hand. Although it might not seem like fun to restrict yourself, where you go and what you do this much, it is always a smart idea to avoid potentially bad –and violent — situations whenever possible.
Watch Out for Potential Physical Confrontations
Keeping an eye out for potentially threatening situations is another good way to prevent yourself from getting into some sort of physical confrontation. For instance, if you see someone sitting near you at the bar who keeps staring you down and who looks like they are ready to get in a fight, it is better to walk away and sit somewhere else than to stick close and make a confrontation more likely to occur. Also, knowing about potential situations that are going on around you can make you more alert and aware of what is going on and can prevent you from being taken by surprise by someone who seems dead-set on getting into a fight. Knowing about the problems that could occur before they ever happen can give you more time to think, calm yourself down and react appropriately.
Focus on You
You really can’t control what someone else does, but you can control what you do and how you handle situations. If you are the type of person who tends to get into physical fights on a regular basis, you should consider assessing why. Are you hanging out with the wrong people or going to the wrong places? Do you have a bad temper? By changing things about yourself that cause you to get into fights, you can help avoid them in the future. Although it might seem difficult to do this, it will get easier with time. You can even consider talking to a counselor or enrolling in anger management classes to get help with calming down your temper and learning how to avoid arguments and physical confrontations.
In many cases, it is really best to just ignore a person. If someone is staring you down, saying bad things about you or saying hurtful things to you, you might be tempted to retaliate and say something back to save face. However, doing so probably won’t turn out well if you are dealing with a person who wants to fight with you. Therefore, the best thing that you can do in many of these situations is to try to ignore the person, no matter how annoying or mean they are being to you or the nasty or hateful things that might be coming out of their mouth.
Hand it Over
If you are in a situation where someone might want to steal something from you, it is typically advised to simply hand the item over. Although you might not want to give your wallet to the mugger that you pass on the street, it is better to give it over and avoid a physical fight than it is to get attacked and hurt badly and to still lose your wallet anyway. Therefore, it is important to just hand it over in a situation when you think that things might turn physically ugly.
Try to Calm the Person Down
Telling the person that you don’t want to fight, that you don’t mean them any harm and that you are just trying to have a good time is one good way to calm the person down. Although it might not always work, sometimes it does, and any fight that you can avoid can help you stay safer.
Don’t Raise Your Voice
Although you might be tempted to raise your voice when you are arguing with someone or if an individual makes you really angry, but it is best to keep your voice at a low, even and almost soothing tone. Raising your voice will make it seem as if you are angry, which could egg another person on. It can also cause the other person to start screaming at you, which can possibly result in a loud arguing match and potentially a fight. Therefore, maintain your voice level in order to avoid things from getting ugly.
Watch Your Tongue
Keeping your tongue in check is one of the best things that you can do to avoid causing a potentially threatening situation to escalate. Although you might think that you can use your words to scare someone off, this is typically a bad idea.
Therefore, first of all, make sure that you don’t make threats that you don’t mean. Telling someone that you will beat them up badly might seem like the right way to intimidate them and make them take a step back, but it can potentially backfire because the other person might see it as a challenge.
Also, make sure that you don’t make any sarcastic comments. Although you might be angry and might want to say something hurtful to the person, doing so is only going to make the situation worse because it can trigger physical violence or can cause an argument to escalate.
Watch Their Hands
If you are looking too intently at the other person’s face, you might miss their elbow moving as they are preparing to punch you in the stomach. Therefore, it is important to always watch the individual’s hands if you think that there is a possibility of things getting physical. This can help you watch out for punches or slaps that might be coming your way, and you can also tell if the person is reaching for a knife or other weapon that could be seriously harmful.
Along with watching the person’s hands, make sure that you know what to look for. Someone quickly reaching in their pocket could be an indication that they are reaching for a weapon, for instance, and someone who is balling their hands into a fist might just be ready to fight.
Maintain a Stance That Isn’t Confrontational
If you don’t pay attention to how you are standing when you interact with people, you could be accidentally giving off signs that you are in the mood for a little bit of confrontation. Although looking confident can be a good thing in a lot of social situations, seeming too cocky can egg your potential attacker on and make him or her think that you are looking for a fight. Therefore, try to stand with your legs slightly separated, and maintain a level, easy stance instead of trying to look like you are taller and bigger than you really are.
Show Your Hands
Just as you will be watching the individual’s hands to look for weapons and confrontational gestures, he or she might be watching your hands as well. Putting your hands in your pocket might seem like a non-confrontational stance, but in this type of situation it is one of the worst things that you can do. If a person thinks that you might be reaching for a weapon of some sort, for instance, he or she might attack you in an effort to protect him or herself. If you have your hands balled up in a fist subconsciously because of the situation, the person might think that you are ready to fight. Having your arms crossed in front of your body can also make you look angry and confrontational, so this isn’t a good idea either. Instead, keep your hands up and near your face; this is a pretty good way to signal that you really aren’t trying to get into a fight, yet having your hands near your face will make it easier to protect yourself in the event that something does go down.
Don’t Let Your Pride Get in the Way
Pride is one of the main things that can cause people to get into fights, so make sure that you keep your own ego in check when things get out of hand. Although you might not want to say no to a fight because you don’t want to look like you are afraid, try to remember that violence is never really a good thing. Therefore, in this case it might be the right thing to do to let your pride go for a little while and to simply walk away.
Alert the Authorities
If you are afraid that you are in danger, it is a good option to let the authorities know about it so that they can help you. If you are in a bar or club or at a concert or other similar venue, for instance, scan the crowd in search of a bouncer or security guard. By signaling to that individual or walking in their direction, you can get their attention and let them know that you need help. In many situations, all it will take is bringing one of these individuals into the mix to diffuse things.
Along with looking for bouncers and security guards at clubs and other similar places, you should also consider looking for a police officer or other authority figure if you get into a confrontation. If the individual seems like they really and truly might hurt you, such as if they have a knife or other weapon on hand, don’t be afraid to dial 911 from your cell phone; in a lot of cases, if you simply dial the number on your phone, authorities will be able to track down your address and will come to your aid.
Know How to Protect Yourself
Although it isn’t always possible to avoid a physical confrontation when things get out of hand, following these tips can help you prevent yourself from getting in a fight. This can save you from physical injury and can help prevent other things as well, such as getting in trouble with the law or getting kicked out of a business.
In the event that a physical confrontation cannot be avoided, however, make sure that you know how to protect yourself. Keeping a self-defense item like pepper spray on your person is a good way to protect yourself if someone attacks you, and it’s never a bad idea to take self-defense classes or martial arts so that you will know what to do to protect yourself in the event that you get into a physical confrontation. You don’t have to use this knowledge to pick fights or anything, but it is good to know a few self-defense moves in case you ever need them.
If you don’t have any experience in protecting yourself and someone attacks you, however, do the best that you can to fight for your life. Instinct will kick in, and you should be able to protect yourself in most cases. Trying to end the fight as quickly as possible is always a better option, however, especially if you think that you can get the help that you need.